Chapter 9 Morgan
1) In general, do you think Morgan is too hard on organizations?
No. Because of reports on the news, documentary programs, and the newspaper there are many companies
that compromise the heath and safety of its employees, the community, and the consumer for the sake of
profit. Competition and motive for profit have created and very stressful work environment.
2) What did Weber say were three ways that people can be “dominated”? Describe them.
“Charismatic Domination” occurs when a leader rules by virtue of his or her personal qualities. Legitimacy
of rule is grounded in the faith that the ruled vest in the leader (e.g., a prophet, hero, heroine, or
demagogue). The administrative apparatus under this mode of domination is very loose, unstructured, and
unstable, usually working through the activities of a few disciples or intermediaries.
“Traditional Domination” occurs when the power to rule is underwritten by a respect for tradition and the
past. Legitimacy is vested in custom and in a feeling of the “righteous” of traditional ways of doing things.
The administrative apparatus under this mode of domination typically takes two forms, patriarchal or
“Rational-Legal Domination” is power legitimized by laws, rules, regulations, and procedures. The ruler
can thus attain legitimate power only by following the legal procedures that specify how the ruler is to be
appointed. The power is also formally bounded by rules. The typical administrative apparatus is the
bureaucracy, a rational-legal framework in which formal authority is concentrated at the top of the
3) What are some of the ways that Morgan points out whereby organizations “exploit” their
Workaholic individuals at all levels have sacrificed their health and personal lives for organizations. In
later years, these same individuals are the victims of cutbacks and early retirement plans. They find
themselves permanently unemployed even though they feel they have many good years of useful work
ahead of them. Many high level executives are told their terminations are immediate for fear of retaliation.
Communities are unable to survive once the organizations on which they have depended for their economic
livelihood decide to move their capital elsewhere.
Employees are subject to work hazards, occupational disease, and industrial accidents because of the issue
of cost often wins over safety.
Organizations have structures and practices that promote workaholism and social and mental stress. These
employees, primarily the white-collar workers are more likely to suffer from work-related coronary disease,
ulcers, and mental breakdown.
4) How does Morgan say organizations help perpetuate class distinctions?
The primary (white-collar) workers play a role in the internal operations of the firm. The secondary (blue-
collar) workers really have no input and have to adapt to operations. This difference in control creates class
distinctions. The secondary workers perform the dirty work with low wages, little security of employment
and fringe benefits; these are usually the jobs no one else wants. The primary workers have cleaner and
safer work places, more regular hours, better benefits and higher wages. He also talks about how countries
allow immigrants to come in and do these secondary jobs that no one else wants. There also is a larger
percentage of targeted groups such as women, minorities, poor, handicapped, and uneducated in these
5) Is working in many organizations physically dangerous? What are some ways this is so,
according to Morgan? How do his views fit with your personal experience?
OSHA statistics report that every year work-related accidents and illnesses cost an estimated 56,000
American lives. On an average day 17 people are killed in safety accidents, 16,000 are injured, and 137 die
from occupational disease. Each year, 700,000 days are lost to injuries and illnesses related to
musculoskeletal disorders because of overuse of particular parts of the body. The government estimates
that about 100,000 people a year die from work-related illnesses. It is estimated that between 23 -38% of
cancer deaths may be work related.
I have not personally worked in an organization or environment that was physically dangerous. However,
during my employment at the LMES K-25 site, there were two deaths. A drum fell on a contractor. An
hourly employee’s radiation protective clothing caught on fire, he died two days later.
6) How big of a problem does Morgan believe stress and workaholism to be? What evidence does
Morgan believes stress and workhalism are big problems. He says “white collar” workers are more likely to
have coronary disease, ulcers, and mental breakdowns. He offers evidence in these statistics, 75-90% of
visits to the doctor are stress related, with an estimated cost to industry of between $200 - $300 billion.
Insurance surveys say that over 40% of employees find their jobs stressful. It is correlated with increased
violence in the workplace. Homicide is the second leading cause of death in the workplace.
7) What are some ways the rapid increase of large multinational corporations has put workers, host
countries and home countries in disadvantaged positions?
The multinational operations create economic, political and social havoc, distorting rather than benefiting
the development of their host country.
The multinationals have put the host countries in a disadvantaged position economically. The
multinationals have been heavily involved in the extraction of raw materials. Until pressured by host
governments, they were exported in a raw state, at considerable profit but with little benefit to the host
country either financially or in terms of economic development. Under the domination of multinationals,
despite widespread hunger, the Third World has become a net export of foodstuffs. The best land is used
for export rather than local consumption. The local food production is mostly cash crops, and it is
expensive. The host countries are not able to build any equity in the industry. The multinationals are
raising 80% of their capital from local sources. The rate of return in some industries is 400% per annum. A
large percentage of the capital is going back to the parent nation.
The host country is disadvantaged economically because the multinationals can manipulate profits, they
have so many subsidiaries, and they often buy and sale from their subs in different countries. They do
The host country is disadvantaged from a technological perspective. Although the multinationals bring
valuable expertise to the Third World, they bring what they want and ensure that they retain control.
The host country is disadvantaged politically because the multinationals have made bargains with their host
nations and communities, often playing one group or country against another to achieve exceptional
The workers have been put in a disadvantaged position because there are no wage and labor laws. The
people work 10 - 12 hours a day or more, for less than a dollar.
The workers have been forced to sell their agriculturally fertile land to multinationals at below market
prices. They then become laborers working for subsistence wages on large plantations. Food production
has been replaced by cash crops, and it is very expensive.
The home countries are not disadvantaged.
8) What are some of the strengths and weaknesses of the “organizations”?
Strengths - 1) The metaphor draws our attention to this double-edged nature of rationality. Actions that are
rational for increasing profitability may have a damaging effect on employees’ health. 2) It forces us to
recognize that domination may be intrinsic to the way we organize and not just an unintended side effect. 3)
It shows us a way of creating an organization theory for the exploited. 4) It helps us appreciate the issues
that fuel this radical frame of reference in practice. 5) The metaphor encourages us to recognize and deal
with perceived and actual exploitation in the workplace rather than dismiss it as a “radical” distortion of the
way things are.
Limitations - 1) The metaphor does not support the idea that there is a conspiracy in the way one group or
social class is pitted against another. 2) There is a danger that in asserting equivalence between domination
and organization, we may bind ourselves to the idea that non-dominating forms of organization may be
possible. 3) This metaphor merely articulates an extreme form of left-wing ideology, serving to fan the
flames of the radical frame of reference, thus adding to the difficulties of managers in an already turbulent